Sunday is Valentine’s Day and by the end of the day, people around the world will have purchased 8 billion Conversation Hearts. Never one of MY favorite candies, they have remained popular with everyone else since they were introduced in 1866.
A Boston pharmacist invented a machine to make cough lozenges, but made candy wafers instead, founding The New England Confectionery Company – or NECCO, which is what we call his candy wafers today.
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It was his brother who actually started printing messages on the wafers for Valentine’s Day. Some of the early sayings included, “How long shall I have to wait?” and “Married in white – you have chosen right.” It wasn’t until 1902 that the candy morphed into a heart shape and much later into its smaller size.
Candy hearts aside, we are offering a DIY easy and fun PCL Scavenger Hunt. There is one for teens/adults and another for kids. Click here to access and download the Scavenger Hunt forms. For the online catalog, click here and choose “Peninsula” as your location.
Turn your form in to PCL curbside by February 27 to earn a movie size candy bar/box! Sorry – no Conversation Hearts!
At Your Service Curbside
It is hard to believe that a year ago, we were just hearing whispers about a dangerous virus. Hard to believe that we had no inkling of the life out of a sci-fi novel that was shortly to become ours with closures and masks and social distancing and restrictions and worry over loved ones. Yet here we are almost a year later.
For your safety and ours, we are still CURBSIDE here at PCL and at most libraries around the state. While you are being ever so patient in waiting for our doors to open, know that our entire collection is still available to you. You may reserve online at our website here or simply call us, (231) 223-7700.
We have virtual programs, craft bags for adults and kids, a Little Free Library out front for adults, another in back for children, and magazines and puzzles for the taking on the porch.
Puzzles, Tax Forms, Virtual Programs & More
PCL’s puzzle collection continues to be popular from the bin on the front porch. Since they are well-loved, a few have been returned with notes letting us know that they are missing pieces. We SO appreciate patrons telling us this. Please feel free instead to put those puzzles into your cardboard recycle bin. They are taken on the honor system and do not appear ever on your library account. If you have puzzles to donate (only those with all the pieces please), leave them in the large blue bin on the porch – others will enjoy them, too!
Federal tax forms have arrived and you may pick them up curbside. Just let us know what you need when you call from the parking lot! We are still waiting on the State but can print online forms for you anytime.
During this time of distancing, we offer ongoing programs virtually. Call the library to register. Story Stew for kids is offered the 2nd and 4th Fridays at 10 a.m. Chapter Chicks Mother Daughter Book Club will meet Feb. 20 at 10 a.m. Pageturners meets on the 3rd Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Book club picks are available on a first come basis. (Editor’s Note: This month’s Pageturner’s book is “The Winemaker’s Wife” by Kristin Harmel – great reading for cold February days! – jb).
French Conversation Group calls all language Francophiles the 3rd Saturday at 11 a.m. Our Men’s Group has resumed on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.
Grade school kids may pick up bags with crafts and activities the 1st and 3rd weeks of each month. Adults craft, too! The materials you need to create are available in a takeout bag the 2nd week of the month with DIY instructions. This month’s bag for adults is a sweet paint-by-number, a stress-soothing activity in this time of uncertainty. Story Stew bags are offered the 2nd and 4th week of the month to those who register. All available while supplies last!
PCL offers books, movies, puzzles, games, large print books, and more to get you through these winter days. Printing, faxing, copying, iPads for use in our parking lot? YES!
We are excited to announce that we now have stem kits for kids thanks to a grant from Newton’s Road and the Institute of Museum and Library Services – marble runs, coding robots, magnetic tiles and more! They may be reserved online at the library’s website here.
Those Candy Hearts Have a LONG Shelf Life
Interestingly enough, NECCO starts making the candy a few days after February 14 each year in order to have enough for the following year. Today, sayings include things like “Tweet me” and “U R Cute” and “Crazy 4 U” and “BFF” and more. You can even have them made with your own sayings.
But the “best” part is that if you find a box from last year, you don’t have to pitch it. The chalky candy has a shelf life of FIVE years!
I leave you with my favorite Valentine Poem by Jack Prelutsky. From all of us here at PCL, from our heart to yours, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY – WE LOVE OUR PATRONS!
My Mother’s Chocolate Valentine
By Jack Prelutsky
I bought a box of chocolate hearts,
a present for my mother.
They looked so good I tasted one,
and then I tried another.
They both were so delicious
that I ate another four,
and then another couple,
then half a dozen more.
I couldn’t seem to stop myself,
I nibbled on and on,
before I knew what happened
all the chocolate hearts were gone.
I felt a little guilty,
I was stuffed down to my socks.
I ate my mother’s valentine…
I hope she likes the box!
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb